To disrupt the ritual, we split up — with melee-types heading down the corridor, while Sheefra and Tiberius ventured across a bridge that led to a ledge with a full view into the area where The Manticore was performing his ritual. That ledge had the final obelisk, with the energies of hell being extracted and sent across to a portal in front of The Manticore. Once Ty crossed the bridge, he could see The Manticore on his throne, extracting life force from a set of his lackeys, apparently to feed the conjuring of a gate of some sort. Ty whipped out his shortbow, and plugged an arrow into the Manticore — cueing the start of the battle! As the Melee-types charged down the corridor, The Manticore promptly put a magical globe of protection around himself. The warriors were left attacking the lackeys — but when they killed one, its dying life force accelerated the process of growing the expanding magic The Manticore was working in his hands. We need to keep that sphere from becoming a gateway for whatever horrors might come through!
Ty licked the last obelisk, and noticed it was looking pretty dilapidated — so he used a 2nd-level spell slot on Bilobina's Catapult, to slam his warhammer into it really hard. Sheefra followed suit with a pair of Eldritch Blasts, and when Ty clobbered it with another 2nd-level Catapult spell, the whole thing collapsed. This seemed to mess up The Manticore's concentration a bit; then Callan pushed his way into the baddie's protective globe, and lay some serious sword-hurt on the creep. Meanwhile, Max produced a fire elemental to whomp badguys. With his minions occupied by the elemental, The Manticore faced the full brutality of both Callan and Mael — his concentration was destroyed and the ritual lost! He turned into an actual manticore, but was quickly put out of our misery by the combined might of our fighting men and the fire elemental.
Once the fiend was put down, the NecroSphere of Doom popped out of its disintegrating corpse — and Luther (the devil) appeared out of nowhere. He congratulated us on completing the quest he had detailed to us, and released the curse on the lands around Eddick's Reach. He said we could keep the sphere, and offered us further assistance: Ty asked for a quick way for us to get back to Eddick's Reach.
Luther created a gateway in the air, and signaled for us to enter. Ty ran and got his dad first (and the 'imperfect' lady we had captured): they were weakened by the loss of The Manticore's power, but their corrupted forms were returning to normal! Ty used the Mass Healing Word stored in the Wand of Granting to invigorate the pair (and restore 10 hitpoints to the whole party).
We then entered Luther's gateway — but instead of appearing in Eddick's Reach, we found ourselves headed into hell! Luther tricked us! He was walking along with us, and invited us to stay at his domicile in his domain. We all took a LONG REST there — and level'd up to 8th level!
session ended here — someday we will continue our adventures…